Wagga shoppers, pub patrons and diners have been warned not to become "complacent" about COVID Safe check-ins after QR code usage rates dropped by more than 45 per cent across the city over the past three months.
Service NSW data from the state government's official smartphone app showed that a check-in was registered within Wagga's council boundaries an average of 5400 times per day over the first week of May.
That figure has dropped sharply from the app's peak usage period during February, when more than 10,000 QR code check-ins were recorded on an average day around Wagga.
The ongoing figure could be even lower as Service NSW figures would have included the Gold Cup carnival on May 6 and 7, which saw thousands of people required to sign in with the Service NSW app in order to attend.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District senior environmental health officer Tony Burns said it was important for people in Wagga to continue using the QR code check-ins as it would assist contact tracing if a person tested positive for coronavirus in the region.
"It will assist us with our contact tracing, should that be required, and it will allow us to continue to work with businesses to minimise the restrictions that could be placed on them so, at the end of the day, we won't have major shutdowns like we have had in the past year or so," he said.
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Most Riverina council areas saw check-ins drop by more than 40 per cent, while overall NSW saw a 25 per cent drop.
Temora Shire saw the most consistent QR code use with the average daily rate of check-ins dropping by just 22 per cent over the past two months.
Narrandera Shire was the region's worst with a drop in average daily check-ins of 63 per cent, followed by Griffith at 60 per cent, Snowy Valleys at 58 per cent, Leeton at 51 per cent and Junee at 49 per cent.
"It's not just in Wagga, there's a bit of complacency everywhere. People are seeing that we haven't had community acquired COVID-19 cases for a long time," Mr Burns said.
Business NSW Riverina-Murray regional manager Anthony McFarlane said the more people used the check-in system, the lower the risk of the city having to close its shops and venues if there was an infection.
"I doubt that check-ins are down because Wagga has had fewer customers as trading conditions appear to be strong," he said.
"Now isn't the time to be complacent, we have come this far and we have done so well, let's see it through."
Service NSW said the app's privacy was "secure" and customers were "encouraged to remain vigilant and ensure they check in when visiting venues and businesses to assist NSW Health contact tracers and help keep our community safe".
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